Today we’re starting a new series on the blog, giving all you wannabe admirals some important tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Armada fleets. With the dwarfs currently on pre-order, we thought it would be a good idea to start with these heavily armoured, steam-powered workhorses.
Today’s blog is written by honorary dwarf captain, Chris Cowburn. Over to you Chris…
The dwarf fleet is finally powering its way into Armada, and they are a very unique fleet! The first thing people will notice is that the dwarf fleet has no Squadrons or Large ships available, but do not let this deter you. They have some truly exciting rules and options to take advantage of when it comes to building your fleet.
“We’re wasted in the forests. We dwarfs are natural sailors”
First of all, let’s cover the dwarf fleet Special Rules.
Being steam-powered Ironclads, all ships in the dwarf fleet have the ‘Advanced Engines’ special rule, meaning they are all are treated as having engines. This makes them a surprisingly nimble fleet in Armada, able to react quicker than other fleets to dangers, be that other ships or terrain. In addition, with stone priests on board, their mastery over stone means they also gain an additional +1 modifier to Skill Tests when attempting to avoid becoming damaged or grounded by terrain.
Of course, it wouldn’t feel like a dwarf fleet without them having some sort of rule to cover their infamous stubbornness. They have the well-known Headstrong rule, which in Armada means they can re-roll failed Nerve tests, so they’re less likely to surrender when damaged.
Now, let’s talk about the specific ships available to a budding dwarf admiral.
A Grimmstone is a true marvel of dwarven engineering. This ship is the equal to the Large ships of the other fleets in Armada. With a fearsome armament protecting all sides of the ship, it is capable of sailing into the middle of an enemy fleet before unleashing devastating salvos from the many cannon. It also boasts a respectable crew strength, meaning it can protect itself should some foolish captain try and board it.
The RuneAxe class are the assault vessels of the dwarf armada. To represent this, they have the Grappling Hooks upgrade for free (and they don’t count against the normal upgrade limit)! This leaves you two slots available to further kit your vessel out and make sure the enemy will give these a wide berth. This is especially true if you can convince Sveri Egilax’s brother – Gruffydd Egilax and his Berserker crew to captain one of the RuneAxes!
The Orc’s Bane is the dwarf’s unique ship in Armada, representing an infamous Privateer. This ship boasts increased armour, a higher crew strength, and superior firepower. Not only that, but the Orc’s Bane gains a bonus when grappling ships the same size or smaller, due to the experience gained through many years of Privateering. What’s more, the crew is more likely to inflict Crushing Blows in Boarding Actions.
The Fury is the first of the dwarf Support vessels, and what a fantastic ship this is. Armed with Flame Belchers on the bow and stern, this ship’s purpose is to zip between the enemy fleet, setting ships ablaze at will. The Flame Belchers are only short ranged though, and the firepower is limited, so you might want to upgrade your ship to make sure you have a Master Gunner or Lucky Crew on board, for when you really want to force your opponent to have to change their battle plans.
Another dwarf Support vessel, this one is armed with a gigantic mortar at the front. This ship is the dwarf’s answer to the Basilean Gunbrig, so is very similar to that…
Except that dwarfs have far more experience with blackpowder weapons, meaning the Thunderer only suffers a -1 modifier for firing an Indirect Weapon! This makes this ship perfect for providing some long-range firepower as the rest of your fleet closes on the enemy.
The Hunter class might look inferior compared to the other Dwarf ships available, but they certainly have their uses. They are the cheapest Small ship available in Armada, meaning they are perfect when you have a few points left over, and are invaluable in giving the dwarfs a boost in securing the objectives required to achieve victory in certain scenarios.
Fleet Construction & Synergy
The Dwarfs can pull off shooting and boarding actions equally well, meaning you have a lot of freedom over how you want to construct your fleet.
The Thunderer is an excellent choice to soften the targets up as they close the gap. While the Grimmstones have some solid long-range firepower, which will become devastating once within point blank range. Hunters will move to secure the objective or take on enemy Squadrons. The Fury will target the Larger enemy vessels, hoping to set them ablaze, while the RuneAxes close in ready to initiate Boarding Actions to deliver the Coup de Grâce.